Manually Fixing DLL Errors

Troubleshoot & Diagnose DLL Errors

The first step to fixing DLL errors is to identify the source of the error message. Because DLL’s are non-executable and require other programs to operate, the error begins with a separate software entity. Examine the original error message and take note of the DLL file in error, its file path, and the program that threw the error. With this information, you can start troubleshooting the DLL error.

Troubleshooting Software

DLL’s are called upon by programs and services for various reasons. If the program that calls the DLL is in error itself, it might cause a false DLL error. To troubleshoot this possibility, re-install the software referenced in the error message.

Update Drivers

DLL errors can be caused by buggy, out-of-date device drivers. To troubleshoot this possibility, update the drivers for all of the hardware devices installed in your computer. Device drivers for OEM systems can be obtained from the system manufacturer’s website.

Scan for Malware

Some malware infections can masquerade as legitimate DLL’s and cause errors. Scanning for malware is an important step to troubleshooting DLL errors. Use your preferred anti-virus software to scan for malicious infections that could be causing DLL errors. If you do not have anti-virus software, download this free solution here.

System Restore

If the DLL error can’t be fixed by working around it, you may try restoring your computer to an earlier date when the DLL file was in working condition. To do this…

(Windows: All Versions)
  1. Start the computer in Safe Mode. (Press F8 when booting the computer and select the safe mode option)
  2. Press the Windows key and the R key at the same time to open the Run prompt.
  3. Type into the Run prompt: rstrui.exe 


  4. Press Enter. The Windows System Restore wizard will open in a new window.
  5. Click Next to proceed.
  6. The next step is to select the date you want to restore to. Check the box next to Show more restore points to see older restore points. Select a restore point before the time when the DLL error started and click Next.
  7. Click Finish to confirm the selected restore point.

Log back into Windows normally. If the error persists you may try another restore point or continue troubleshooting below.

Repair Missing/Damaged DLL Files

In most DLL error cases, the DLL file in question is simply missing or corrupted. The only way to fix this problem is to replace DLL file. For most system DLL files, you may copy the DLL from a different computer with an identical configuration. However, if this option is not available to you, the files will have to be replaced from a Windows installation media. For Windows XP, an installation disc of the same version of the installed operating system is required to perform this repair. For Windows Vista, 7 and 8, a startup repair may be attempted. Startup repair may be accessed from the Advanced Windows Boot Options menu by pressing F8 when the computer is booting up and selecting Startup Repair as the boot option.

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